Monday, July 6, 2009

2 degrees

Dear friends,
The G8's climate goal could be scrapped, as Canada, Russia, and Japan try to block a commitment to cap warming below 2 degrees. With street stunts and top-level meetings, Avaaz will bring a global voice to the summit in Italy, calling for climate action --

Sign The Petition!

The world has just months left to agree on a binding global climate treaty -- humanity's best shot at preventing catastrophic global warming of more than 2 degrees celsius.

This week at the Italian-hosted G8 summit, Canada, Japan, and Russia are trying to veto the 2-degree limit -- and an immediate global outcry is needed to rescue it.

Click below to sign the worldwide petition -- an Avaaz team in Italy will deliver it directly to world leaders and through spectacular stunts on Thursday, bringing global media attention to shame the climate-wreckers and press them to back down. We urgently need at least 100,000 signatures -- click to sign:

Scientists say that if global warming rises past two degrees centigrade, the world's climate systems are very likely to spin out of control -- with searing droughts, sudden floods, and rising seas that spread poverty and force hundreds of millions to relocate.

In fact, such climate effects have already begun -- but we may be able to avert the worst, if urgent UN negotiations succeed this year in reaching a binding treaty. The UN talks, culminating in Copenhagen just six months from now, could launch a historic shift towards a clean-energy, green-recovery future that leaves the climate safe for future generations. But a few nations -- now led by Canada, Russia, and Japan -- have blocked-up the climate talks, endangering the treaty and our future.

The G8 leaders -- joined by eleven other heads of government at a parallel "Major Economies" meeting next door -- represent more than 80% of climate emissions. And this is the leaders' last in-person negotiation before the make-or-break Copenhagen summit.

We know last-moment pressure can change their policies: Avaaz members and other citizen groups flipped Canada's and Japan's position in the closing hours of the Bali UN climate summit in 2007, and campaigners won promises to double aid to Africa at the Gleneagles G8 meeting in 2005. (Of course, Italy's Berlusconi and others have betrayed those promises -- a reminder that we must insist on a legally binding treaty on climate.) Canada's Harper, Japan's Aso, and other leaders could face elections in coming weeks and months -- they can't afford global embarrassment at this summit. Sign the petition, send it to friends, and help rescue the climate target now:

From time to time in history, the forces align that make possible a fundamental shift in the conduct of human affairs. This year could be such a time. If we seize this moment -- if we choose, this year, to remake our economies and rebuild our relationship to the fragile ecosystems that sustain us -- we will leave our grandchildren a legacy etched in the burgeoning of glaciers and the currents of the sea.

Humanity's choice will be the sum of the decisions made by each of us, in our private lives and in our political actions. Together, let's choose the future.

With hope,

Ben, Taren, Iain, Alice W, Luis, Ricken, Pascal, Paula, Graziela, Paul, Brett, Milena, Margaret, Alice, Raluca, Raj, and the whole Avaaz team.


Italy G8 summit key to global efforts on climate change

Background on 2 degrees threshold: "'Too late to avoid global warming,' say scientists"

Canada, Russia Considered Climate 'Bad Boys' Among G8 Nations

Make-or-break summit as G8 gamble on climate and economy,28124,25738096-36418,00.html

EU's Barroso seeks two degrees Celsius pact at G8


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